The Less Gets You More Challenge

This past Saturday found me in a typical dilemma... too much to do and not enough time. My oldest daughter was home for Easter, my younger daughter wanted to go turkey hunting, and I had numerous things I wanted to get done around the house. While normally I would let the other stuff go to spend time with my family, there were a few things I could put off no longer.

The solution I found was challenge myself to find ways to reduce time on the less than important tasks. This included:

  • Mowing. I know it takes about 75 minutes to mow my entire yard. As I looked over the yard I saw there was really only one area that needed to be cut this week. The rest could go until next weekend. Actual time spent: 30 minutes.
  • Automobile maintenance. I was expecting to spend a couple of hours taking care of my aging fleet. Recognizing that my daughter's car was the only one that wouldn't be here next week, I focused all my efforts on it. And even with her car, I prioritized "mechanical service" over "appearance." Actual time spent: 45 minutes.
  • Gardening. With the rising temperatures, there was so much I could do! I saw another 2 hours taken up prepping the soil and removing weeds. Knowing my time was limited I chose to focus solely on mulching my asparagus beds because the new plants will be emerging soon. Actual time spent: 20 minutes.

Opening up all this time helped give me to run with my daughter, go on a memorable turkey hunt with my other daughter, take an extended walk with my wife, and even have dinner with my in-laws (yes, a good thing). More importantly, I don't feel overwhelmed as I look ahead to this week because I still got done what HAD to be done. 

When you feel like there are lots of elephants lining up for your day, challenge yourself to find ways to spend the least time possible on your less important tasks.